Zinedine Zidane has returned to Real Madrid as the first-team manager, with Santiago Solari being sacked from the post on Monday afternoon.
Real Madrid have made an official announcement to confirm that Zinedine Zidane has been reappointed as the first-team manager, just nine months after resigning from the post. The news comes mere moments after the announcement that Los Blancos had dismissed Santiago Solari from the helm at the Santiago Bernabeu.
It has been quite a topsy turvy season for Real Madrid. The instability had begun just five days after they had won the UEFA Champions League for a record-extending 13th time, with Zinedine Zidane announcing his decision to step down as the club’s manager.
Real Madrid were knocked out of the Champions League more times after Zinedine Zidane first left the club (1) than they were during first spell in charge (0).
This is really happening. 🤯 pic.twitter.com/cGw0OJF2tx
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 11, 2019
Los Blancos had subsequently appointed Julen Lopetegui as the first-team boss, a day before the 2018 FIFA World Cup curtain raiser. But, the former Spain head coach lasted just three months at the helm at Real Madrid, who sacked him after a crushing 5-1 defeat at the hands of bitter rivals Barcelona.
In Lopetegui’s stead, Santiago Solari was promoted from the youth ranks to take charge of the struggling first-team. But, after a decent start to his time as the manager of the senior side, a similar pattern as the one under his predecessor ensued, as back-to-back defeats to Barcelona was followed by one to Ajax.
Two of the three losses had dumped Real Madrid from the Copa del Rey and the UEFA Champions League, while the second loss to Barcelona effectively killed off their chances of mounting a late La Liga title tilt. Therefore, despite a 4-1 win over Real Valladolid, widespread reports claimed that Solari was walking on a tightrope.
The reported favourite to take over from the Argentine was Jose Mourinho, something that was also confirmed by former Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon in a recent interview. But, the former manager returning to the Bernabeu is not Mourinho.
Instead, the shock announcement has confirmed that Zidane has instead been reappointed at the first-team manager. This follows a separate announcement that formalized the termination of Solari from the post.
This makes for an unprecedented scene at the Spanish club, although it is one that could just reinvigorate them and set them up for a successful 2019-20 season. In his first stint with Real Madrid, Zidane had won a staggering 9 trophies in just two-and-a-half years at the Bernabeu while being a favourite of players and fans alike.
Zidane has signed a near three-year deal that will keep him at the Bernabeu till June 30, 2022. It now remains to be seen if the Frenchman can recreate a similar impact at Real Madrid as he had done before calling it quits last summer, bringing about a resurgence at the club after a tumultuous 2018-19 season.